The Secret Of Writing Every Day Is To Not Make A Public Declaration
Instead, just give it your attention
Making something happen requires attention, at the least.
I noticed this tweet this morning.
(I’m not publishing a lot lately, almost everything I have written over the last two weeks has gone into draft versions, not enough time with current commitments to also edit + publish them).
It grabbed my attention as the author has declared publically his commitment to a series of daily actions. These include publishing every day.
Has he lost focus, attention, or motivation — which one?
The goal of public declarations is to enlist extrinsic motivation. This works if you believe that you are more susceptible to losing face then to owning up to yourself.
I’m not a big believer in extrinsic motivation. I should rephrase that by saying that it undoubtedly works for many people, but it is not absolute.
I also see a lot of downside in public declarations of personal intent.
The analogy that springs to mind with me is the Happiness Cult. The requirement that people feel to force their positivity and happiness ultimately exacerbates their emptiness.
If your aura of happiness is based upon a lie, then the lie will win. Even worse, when it wins that will reinforce the beliefs upon which the lie is built.
Failure makes the process of change even harder
To be seen to have failed publically is shattering. Some people follow the lemmings to the precipice and go over the edge. Others see the warnings and start creating the justifications for their retreat.
The Tweep has seen the glimmers of failure and is setting himself up to back out of his public intentions.
Publishing every day requires discipline and practice like all other skills. And it gets easy over time, but only if you keep doing it.
Achieving it requires that you pay utmost attention to one single value — consistency.
I aim to write a small piece every day — 400 to 500 words. I sometimes don’t live up to the value of consistency.
It’s not about “what will I write about?”
But I have come to realise that all the other things that sound like they are necessary are not sufficient. It’s not about “what will I write about” or how to make it logical, or if it even makes sense.
Being consistent means that you take action to solve all other issues and you get the thing done.
You do the thing
You give it the attention it needs to get it done. You drag together the focus that you can muster along with the motivation that you can scrape up on the day and you perform.
By the way, this is not making a public declaration of my intent. I don’t need extrinsic motivation. I have the internal motivation to develop this skill, and then apply it to other things I am doing.
Why your daily emotional challenges of existence will not be solved by finding happiness
I clicked into an article in The New Yorker about reading making you happier. I thought that it may be a potential…
Like everyone else my motivation wanes, then I give “the thing” my attention instead
That does not mean that my internal motivation is always high.
Just like our Tweep friend, I can often think of reasons that I might skip writing for a day. For our Tweep friend the public declaration and extrinsic motivation has failed him. He’s backing out in a way which salvages his sense of worth.
He needs to go back to the hard grind of consistency — enabled by attention and supported by focus.
Attention is focus when you don’t have motivation.
It’s the same as setting yourself up to exercise properly for the rest of your life. It’s not always what you want to do, and the key is consistency.
That’s how I feel about my attention to writing every day.
How do you get the job down of writing every day?
If you enjoyed this post then you might also enjoy my Secret purpose of meditation is to help you escape your addiction to neuroticism and Mindful Passion, Poise and Posture and Not Minding Leads to Confidence, Not Caring to Disengagement and Depression and Optimism is important but it is not the choice between it and pessimism that will help you succeed
I’m Walter. I write articles on fitness, health, and motivation for men and women over 50. However, curiosity is my main distinction. I’ve been lucky enough to have experienced a bolt of lightning hitting me in Korea, crash landing in a 747 (LAX), being sucked into a thundercloud at 4,000m in a sailplane (Australia), jumping freefall from 3,000m on my 1st ever parachute jump (Florida), and two different lethal cancers. Blog: walteradamson.com